What it is
This is a subcompact luxury crossover that Infiniti is aiming at new, younger customers.
It goes on sale in mid-2016 as a 2017 model and is new to Infiniti’s lineup. The automaker has not discussed pricing, but based on similar vehicles it is expected to start in the mid-$30,000 range.
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Why it matters
This is the first Infiniti product to come out of a partnership with Mercedes-Benz. It shares architecture with the Mercedes CLA class of front-wheel-drive vehicles, although this vehicle will be all-wheel-drive.
The luxury division of Nissan, Infiniti has struggled to keep up with Japanese rival Lexus and the premium German brands. It needs this car to resonate with youthful, urban buyers to be a serious player in the luxury market.
“The strategy of adding a raised suspension and rugged styling cues from a sister vehicle to create a sense of capability and masculinity has worked well for numerous other automakers,” said Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights at car shopping company TrueCar.com. “It is a cost effective way to capitalize on the success of utilities in the current market.”
The premium crossover segment is among the fastest growing in the auto industry globally. The QX30 will be built at a new factory in Sunderland, England, the brand’s first car production operation in Europe.
This is an all-new vehicle. Infiniti claims it will be quiet and offer a sporty driving feel. Infiniti says it has worked hard to stiffen the vehicle and reduce body roll — a common issue for crossovers. It is intended to provide the feel and visibility of a crossover but be styled more like a coupe.
It will go against other crossovers, including the BMW X-1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lexus NX and Acura RDX.
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It will be offered with only one engine in the U.S., a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
Powertrain: Four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Fuel economy: TBD
Fuel economy: TBD
Fuel: Premium gasoline.